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April 9, 2012

What can we plant in April in Florida

In April we are getting close to be done with the cool weather season crop and are getting ready for the warm weather harvest; so all in all, April is a very fruitful month. My garden is in full bloom and glory, although in need of daily watering: the weather has been unusually hot and dry.

My favorite grape tomatoes are about my height now and are covered with blooms and tomatoes:

Cucumbers (Sumter) love climbing and producing some nice cukes, but need daily watering:

Squash survived the borer attack with the help of aluminum foil and is ready to start showing some nice fruit as well.

And of course, some sun flowers for the faithful chickens:

But back to the original question: what can we plant in April? It would be seriously stretching it to start even warm weather vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, from seed now. It will be simply too hot for them to survive and produce in the dog heat of June and July. You could still seed some beans now (I like Kentucky Wonder), as well as cow peas, okra, and plant sweet potato slips.

If I was just starting a brand new garden now, knowing what I know now, I would concentrate on building the soil. If you are in that situation, just get yourself a few containers of tomatoes and peppers from the box store and keep them in some dappled shade - for the feeling of accomplishment of your gardening efforts. But to prepare for the fall season planting, start getting as much plant material as you can get and build your compost piles. I like a two-box method: you pile plant material in the first box until it gets about waist high, then water it about twice a week and turn when you can, and in about a month or so transfer the whole pile into the second box.

The original pile will be greatly diminished by breaking down, so the contents of the second box will be much smaller than the original. Keep filling the first box. Once again, when it gets to be waist high, empty the second box into the garden, and transfer the contents of the first box to the second one. And so on, ad infinitum. This is hard work, but very rewarding in the quality of your garden soil.


  1. Ah yes April is here. I am going to be planting some sweet potato slips as soon as they arrive. Also am going to try some corn. I haven't tried corn in several years.

    Your squash looks real healthy. Mine got attacked heavily by pickle worms. I can't seem to get them under control and don't want to use any chemical pesticides.

    Wish I could have some chickens. Nothing like fresh organic eggs from free range chickens.

  2. Tim, have you thought of using Neem oil? It's completely organic. They sell it at Tractor Supply.

    1. That seems like a great idea. I've never tried neem oil but knew about it. Usually even with the pickle worms I still would get plenty of zucchini but last year and this year it seems like they are out of control and every flower and fruit on the zucchini has been damaged. I will take your advice and try it next time I plant summer squashes.

  3. What are all of those pretty orange flowers in the first picture? Also i noticed that your sunflowers are tied up, what's the tip there?
    Won't eggplant do well in the summer? I just got some small plants into my last bed.
    Great pictures and blog :)

    1. Funny that you asked! (Sorry, missed your comment)
      These pretty orange flowers are Cosmos. Beware! Once you have them in your garden, you will always have them. They reseed freely whenever the mood strikes them. But, at the same token, you can pull young plants if you don't want them to grow.

      Sunflower, like corn, like to bend and lay on the ground if we have heavy rain or wind. If you kind of tie off a bunch of sunflowers together, they are more likely to withstand the rain.

      Eggplants are kind of perrenial in Florida. So yes, if you you have them established before the heat they would fruit through the summer and beyond. But to start them from seed you should think of Spring or Fall season timelines. After that - lots of eggplant.



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